Two More Killed as 140 Rockets Fired in Four Minutes

YERUSHALAYIM -
Security personnel near the Ashkelon factory, Sunday. (Southern Fire Brigade)

Two people who had been critically wounded in attacks Sunday afternoon died of their wounds, security officials said. The man, 22-years-old, and two others who were seriously injured, were hurt when a rocket hit a factory in the Ashkelon industrial zone, in a new round of rocket attacks by Gaza terrorists. The injured were taken to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, where the man subsequently died of his wounds. Earlier Sunday, Moshe Agadi, Hy”d, a 58-year-old father of four from Ashkelon, was killed in a rocket attack that hit outside his home in the southern city. His levayah is set for 4:00 p.m. Sunday.

In another rocket attack near the border community of Yad Mordechai, an Israeli man in his 60s was critically wounded when a rocket hit his vehicle head-on as he was driving. The man was taken to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon for treatment, where he succumbed to his wounds.

The new attack on Ashkelon was part of a major round, in which dozens of rockets were fired at Gaza border communities, as well as further afield. Security officials said that some 140 rockets were fired within a span of four minutes, beginning at about 1:00 p.m. Red Alert sirens sounded throughout the early afternoon in Sderot, Ashkelon, and other communities near the Gaza border fence, as well as in Ofakim, Be’er Sheva, Ashdod and the Yavne area. Sirens were also heard in Rehovot, Rishon LeTzion, and Arad, although no rocket fire was detected there.

Trails are seen in the sky as an Iron Dome anti-missile projectile intercepts a rocket that was fired from Gaza, above Ashkelon, Sunday. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

In a statement, the joint command of Hamas and Islamic Jihad said that the latest round of rockets was in response to the IDF’s targeting residences of top Hamas terrorists earlier Sunday. “Continuing that policy will result in a stronger response,” the group said.

The IDF had been targeting the houses, as well as other terror targets, throughout Sunday morning. On Sunday afternoon, the IDF reported that a senior Gaza terrorist had been killed in a helicopter strike. Earlier, IDF planes hit a hideout of several terrorists, located in a weapons warehouse in southern Gaza.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Sunday afternoon that Israel needed to keep hitting Hamas. Speaking at an Independence Day event for the Israel Police, Erdan said that “true independence is our ability to fight back against those who make war against us, and to allow the children of the south, and all our children, the ability to sleep soundly at night and to go to their kindergartens and schools during the day. From here I will go on to a meeting of the security cabinet, and my stance is clear – we cannot allow these low terror groups to get the best of us. The IDF must continue hitting Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who are persecuting residents of Gaza and who fire against their own protesters. We cannot allow these murderers to continue their way of life unimpeded,” he said.